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Kabuki actors mark reopening of renovated theater

The Associated Press, Tuesday, March 26, 2013, 11:56pm (PDT)

TOKYO (AP) — Some 60 Kabuki actors have paraded through downtown Tokyo before the reopening of a historic theater for the classical Japanese dance-and-drama.

Thousands of fans waited for the stars to walk through the glitzy Ginza shopping district.

The actors, including young star Ebizo Ichikawa, wore formal dark kimonos rather than the elaborate makeup and costumes seen in performances. They waved to the crowd while carrying umbrellas guarding against Wednesday's chilly rain.

Sixteen-year-old Chikade Kumaki says, "I'm glad to be able to see the actors, I was touched."

The Kabukiza Theater opened in 1889. It was heavily damaged in a 1923 earthquake and during World War II.

It has 1,800 seats over three floors, and the renovation retained much of the original style and architecture.

The theater reopens April 2.

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